Daniel R. Pfau

  • Graduate Students

Faculty Advisor: Cynthia L. Jordan & S. Marc Breedlove

B.S., 2010, California Polytechnic State University
Animal Science
M.S., 2013, California Polytechnic State University
Biological Sciences

Entered Program in 2012

Breedlove-Jordan Lab

Academic and Research Background

I first started doing research in the Strand Lab of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology and Neuroplasticity at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. My first project examined California House finch song and neuroendocrine relationships. I then began research in collaboration with the Physiological Ecology of Reptiles Lab, examining neuroendocrine relationships of neurogenesis in the Western Fence Lizard. For my Masters, I continued working with both labs and examined seasonal and behavioral control of Western Fence Lizards neuroplasticity.

Current Research Interests

I am currently examining how chemical stimuli from conspecific can alter the brain before, during, and after puberty in mice. Specifically I want to determine what changes occur in neuron and glial populations based on age and pheromone exposure. Overall, I enjoy looking at how external (chemical, visual, behavioral, etc) and internal (hormonal) changes can alter neuroplasticity.

Personal Interests

I have always had an interest in volunteering and outreach so I look for many opportunities to do so. I also enjoy reading, cooking, biking, hiking, and gardening. I have a huge interest in astrological phenomenon and even have hopes of being an amateur exoplanet discoverer one day.


  • University Enrichment Fellowship, Michigan State University (2015–2017)
  • Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2012–2015)
  • Lavender Leadership Award Undergraduate class 2010, California Polytechnic State University (2010)
  • Delphi Foundation Scholarship, Delta Lambda Phi National Social Fraternity (2009)
  • Gary Grossman Scholarship Award, SLO Community Foundation (2007)
  • SDAC Honorarium Scholarship, Cal Poly Disability resource center (2006)

Posters and Presentations

  • Potter, S., Pfau, D., Strand, C. “A Complete Brain Atlas of the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis.” College of Science and Math Undergraduate Research Symposium, May, 2009.
  • Pfau, D., Potter, S., Strand C. “Effects of testosterone and captivity on medial and dorsal cortex volumes and neurogenesis in adult male Western Fence Lizards.” Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology annual meeting, Seattle, Washington, January, 2010.
  • Pfau, D, French, SS, Strand. S. "Seasonal, hormonal and behavioral determinants of medial and dorsal cortex volume and neurogenesis in the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis." Society for Neuroscience, New Orleans, Louisiana, October, 2012.